New Public Health School Established to Address Growing Health Crisis

WATERLOO, Ontario, April 19, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - With today's launch of the new School of Public Health and Health Systems, the University of Waterloo becomes a world leader in public health research, education and service, specifically focused on addressing the growing health crisis.

"The world is facing an aging population and alarming increases in chronic illness and environment related illnesses. We're headed toward a major health crisis unless we rethink how we approach these current and emerging problems from a public health perspective. We've developed this school to do just that," says Paul McDonald, Director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems.

Organized around six critical health challenges as opposed to specialized disciplines, the new school breaks down traditional academic barriers. Instead of working in silos, faculty, students and researchers from multiple fields work together to examine the interrelationships between the many factors that impact our health and our health systems. The result is more effective and timely solutions.

"With a transdisciplinary approach, and by focusing on key priorities in global health, such as chronic disease prevention and management, food and water safety, security and governance, and reducing health inequalities, the University of Waterloo's School of Public Health and Health Systems is making a major contribution to Canadian and global health," says Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, a world leader in public health and former Director-General of the World Health Organization, in Waterloo to celebrate the importance of the new school.

Working with provincial, national and international partners to rapidly produce relevant and innovative research to solve today's top health challenges, the school builds on the University of Waterloo's history of essential collaboration.

"Governments at all levels are struggling to find answers to the burgeoning health crisis before it's too late," says faculty dean, Susan Elliott. "Our partnership approach means our experts can provide policymakers with the critical evidence-based research they need. It also ensures the university is continually evolving to stay on top of the most significant public health risks."

The new school includes a professional practice centre designed with the capacity to provide cutting-edge research for public, private and non-profit organizations on issues as they arise. This will allow the school to be responsive to current health concerns at the same time as providing students with a learning environment focused on societal needs.

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 34,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, visit